Chicago migrant evictions will add to homelessness, lawmaker says, as Democrat-led cities scale back aid

A lawmaker in Chicago is accusing Mayor Brandon Johnson’s ongoing migrant shelter evictions of adding to the city’s homeless count as Democrat-led cities around the U.S. are facing increasing financial strain from dealing with an influx of new arrivals.

Chicago began evicting migrants from shelters on Sunday as a 60-day stay limit came into effect, with Johnson arguingthe city’s “limited resources cannot meet the full scale of need.” The mayor’s office said 34 of Chicago’s 11,210 shelter residents would depart over the weekend, but as of Wednesday, only eight migrants have left, according to the Chicago-Sun Times.

“At this point we have thousands of homeless,” Andre Vasquez, a Democratic Socialist and alderperson for Chicago’s northern 40th Ward, was quoted by the newspaper as saying at City Hall. “Mayor Johnson’s plan will add to those numbers.”

“We know it’s unprecedented. We know the president should do more,” Vasquez added, calling out President Biden. “But when it comes to people being kicked out on the street, that’s solely the decision of our mayor.”


People hang around outside a migrant shelter on Wednesday, March 13, in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. (AP/Erin Hooley)

Johnson later said “Local municipalities are not designed to deal with an international crisis” and “The reality is that we have restraints,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported, noting that City Council members were informed by him in September 2023 that the migrant crisis will have cost Chicago taxpayers more than $250 million by the end of last year.

“Our city is committed to compassion,” Johnson said earlier in a press release announcing the evictions. “By encouraging resettlement while also providing case-specific extensions with a focus on health and safety, we are advancing a pathway to stability and self-sufficiency.”

His office did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Children cover their heads as they sit outside a migrant shelter Wednesday, March 13, in Chicago. (AP/Erin Hooley)

On its website, the Democratic Party says “We honor our fundamental values by treating all people who come to the United States with dignity and respect, and we always seek to embrace — not to attack — immigrants.”

However, that message appears to be wavering in cities led by Democrats who also are grappling with how to handle the influx of migrants that show up, often by bus, after coming across the U.S.-Mexico border.


Immigrants who cannot find work are seen selling clothes and other used goods on the streets of Queens in New York City on March 18. (Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Denver officials recently told media outlets that the city is looking for alternative ways to house migrants. Fox 31 reported that the city recently emailed Denver rental property owners asking if they would be interested in renting to migrants who need housing.

It comes as Denver is scaling back its migrant services in an attempt to reduce the budget deficit by nearly $60 million and consolidate shelters.

During a press conference in late February,Denver Mayor Mike Johnstonsaid that over the next month, one shelter will close each week. He added that with shelters closing, no one will be kicked out. People will simply be moved to another shelter, FOX 31 reported.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Friday that the city’s infamous “right to shelter” policy, which mandates a bed be provided for any individual who requires it, would be significantly rolled back.

Under the new terms, individuals would have a right to 30 days of housing services upon entry into the city’s aid system.

Following the 30-day window, the city can refuse individuals’ re-entry into the system, “unless the individual has demonstrated they have some sort of extenuating circumstance necessitating a short additional amount of time in shelter or have received a reasonable accommodation due to a disability,” according to Adams’ office.

A migrant lies on the sleeping pad at a makeshift shelter in Denver. (Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

“This new agreement acknowledges the realities of where we are today, affirms our shared mission to help those in need and grants us additional flexibility to navigate this ongoing crisis,” Adams said in a video statement.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Timothy Nerozzi and Stepheny Price contributed to this report.

Greg Norman is a reporter at Fox News Digital.

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